Downtown is the place to catch a river boat ride, on a boat like the ones they had here before trains & cars. The Mississippi River carried freight and people, including slaves, in great quantities back then. Photos of the river shore with about 50 paddlewheels lined up, as they were called, are impressive. I don't have the details of how to take one of these rides here because I'm attaching a website, that will do it better than me. These cruises go on all day and into the evning. Evening rides can include dinner and live blues or jazz music.
The riverfront is a main attraction to the downtown along with the arch being right there. The river does/has overflowed many times and sometimes got all the way up to the first main street before possible flowing into the downtown streets. Little exaggerating, but the area around the arch has flooded before. I have been down there when that river flows and it is scary.
A definite highlight of my trip was the 1-hour sightseeing tour of the Mississippi River and St. Louis waterfront aboard the Tom Sawyer riverboat. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the captain tell the history of St. Louis while pointing out historic buildings and bridges along the way. Being on the upper deck of the ship provides a unique vantage point for photos.
Cost for 1-hour cruise was $14 for adults - totally worth it, but be sure to pick up the tourist map at a visitors center prior to arriving to get a 2-for-1 deal. Other cruises are available (dinner cruise, sunset cruise, etc). Also, consider purchasing a combination cruise/Gateway Arch ticket here - the cost is the same as at the Arch, but the lines are MUCH shorter.
The cruise was about 2 hours long, and took you down tot he more Industrialized section of St. Louis. It offered a great view of the skyline and the arch. The tour guide was knowledgable and very helpful. Would advice taking your own drinks or snacks on the boat as they are a bit on the expensive side in the boat restaurant. The price was only about $13 per person and on the site there is a buy one get one free coupon! In my opinion this is a must if you go to St. Louis
There are boat rides right in front of where the Gateway Arch is located at the river that leave throughout the day. The one we went on took about an hour or so.
The Mississippe is very wide here, and very dirty! We saw all kinds of trash and debris floating by. The entire downtown area around the arch, next to the river looks very run down. There are mostly a bunch of abandoned brick buildings that must have been some kind of industrial complexes, or warehouses at one time, but are just empty now.
I enjoyed looking at all of this, from the safe distance of the boat! I wouldn't wonder around in the river area at night!! (if this was Orlando, they would be tearing them down and building condos....)
The bridges are cool, some are very old railroad bridges.
This is quite a tourist thing but we enjoyed it, after a long walk in the city. All along the ride, you get explanations about the history of the city and all the bridges on the Mississippi, but the landscape all around is quite industrial. We had a nice sunset on the Arch and enjoyed the illuminated buildings on the way back.
No trip to Saint Louis is complete without cruising the Mississippi River. It was nice even though I have always thought that river was muddy looking. Very scenic it starts at the Arch and continues down the river. Admission is $10.00 for adults and $4.00 for children.
During your visit to St. Louis,don't miss a nice trip in one of numerous Mississipi's Boats.It is really a very nice 60 minutes trip along the river,you can see some of best places of the city,including a lot of casinos-restaurants boats.They are located just next to the Arch.
On this picture,my "tour guide" Steve and our friend Ann.
On the day I was on St. Louis, it was 98 degrees. Thus, a boat ride was not in order. On a cooler day, I would have loved to take a boat cruise on the mighty Mississippi.
The best way to see St. Louis' skyline and learn about its past is to take one of the narrated boat tours on the Mississippi River.
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